Day 273: The Lord's Work

Nehemiah 3:1-32 The rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall and its various gates was a collaborative effort among many concerned people, including some non-Jews.

Zechariah 14:1-5 The day of restoration would follow a battle between Israel and its enemies, with God and his angels coming to the rescue. These images are used also in the New Testament to describe the end of the world.

Ch 14:6-11 All of creation will be redeemed by God and, therefore, will accommodate better the needs of every human person. The light, which dispels darkness, and the living water, which symbolizes life, will be ever-present and accessible to all.

Ch 14:8 The fountain is an image of cleansing and purification. The proper response to God’s love and desire to forgive unconditionally is a motive for repentance and interior reform. Cleansing water is a type of the Sacrament of Baptism by which Original Sin and actual sins are washed away. Since water is intimately linked to new life, it is a sign of Baptism, which cleanses the soul from sin. Baptism also signifies a rebirth into the life of Christ. The Holy Spirit himself is the “living water” that brings about personal holiness and eternal life. (CCC 694)

Ch 14:12-21 Part of the purpose of prophetic literature is to render instruction and hope to its audience. Despite all the hardships, these prophecies assured Judah and Israel that they would be restored and glorified. These great promises made to the Chosen People were fulfilled with the advent of Christ and the foundation of his Church. 

Proverbs 20:24 Prayerful petition for light, a well-informed conscience, and decision-making in the presence of God are effective ways of knowing God’s will. “With the light of reason, human beings can know which path to take, but they can follow that path to its end, quickly and unhindered, only if with a rightly tuned spirit they search for it within the horizon of faith,” wrote St. John Paul II (Fides et Ratio, 16). (CCC 159)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Key Event 52: Nehemiah Returns and Rebuilds Jerusalem Walls (Nehemiah 3:1-4:23)

Nehemiah's governorship marks a third important development after the Jewish return from exile: In addition to Zerubbabel rebuilding the Temple and Ezra restoring reverence for the Torah, Nehemiah rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem, providing security for the returnees.

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you. We thank you for your goodness. We thank you for your love for us. We thank you for this call that we all have to participate in the building up of your Kingdom, the call that you have given to each of us in our little corners of the world, our big corners of the world, our space in this world, it’s your world, and you’ve placed us where we are, the plot of land that we’re in, the corner that we’re in to make it beautiful for you, to make it good for you, to bring your presence there because your presence is with us because you have made us temples of your Holy Spirit. Help us also to be agents of your Holy Spirit. Help us always to be agents of your will. Help us always to be sons and daughters who bring your light and your love, your hope and your mercy, your truth, your justice, your compassion, your courage, your voice, into our corners of the world, that your voice may be heard and that your justice may be accomplished, that your truth may be proclaimed, that your mercy may be found. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”